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Stenographer Motion To Be Heard Next Week

MURRIO Ducille, front row, second from right, and fellow lawyers outside court yesterday.

MURRIO Ducille, front row, second from right, and fellow lawyers outside court yesterday.

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

THE Constitutional motion of two accused men seeking to have a stenographer present for their respective trials in a lower court will be heard in a week’s time.

Murrio Ducille appeared before Senior Justice Jon Isaacs yesterday on behalf of his client’s Stephen Gibson Jr and Sean Lightbourne who filed motions to the Supreme Court on the basis that their right to a fair trial would be in jeopardy without the presence of a stenographer.

Lightbourne faces charges of possession of dangerous drugs with intent to supply and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Gibson Jr faces possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of ammunition.

According to Article 20(1), “if any person is charged with a criminal offence, then unless the charge is withdrawn, the case shall be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court established by law”.

Article 28 notes that “if any person alleges that any of the provisions of Articles 16 to 27 (inclusive) of this Constitution has been, is being, or is likely to be contravened in relation to him then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person may apply to the Supreme Court for redress.”

Their matter, which was joined together, did not proceed yesterday morning because of a request from the Crown for an adjournment.

Vinette Graham-Allan, director of public prosecutions, informed the court that the Attorney General’s office was served Monday with submissions and an additional affidavit on Tuesday.

She further reasoned that it was not guaranteed that she would be arguing the constitutional motion.

Mr Ducille, while not objecting to a short adjournment, replied that the Crown had a habit of serving the defence with documents on the same day of proceedings and the defence still continued.

The lawyer submitted that two days was sufficient time, but did not object to a short adjournment on the basis that the matter needed to be dealt with quickly.

The DPP replied that the rule of serving submissions two clear days did not include the date of the hearing or the date of service.

Senior Justice Isaacs agreed with the DPP submission on the two-day rule.

He adjourned the motion to March 29.

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